Sunshine Beach Surf Club: On the Grapevine

Image source: Contributed

Tony Cox sniffs out what will be on offer when one of Yarra Valley’s pioneering winemakers comes to town for a very special event.

How good is Sunshine Beach Surf Club as a venue to kick back, enjoy a few bevvies and savour some salt-tinged air in your nostrils, all whilst enjoying a vista over the pristine ocean? Taking it one step further, the chefs are turning it on to provide a wonderful menu paired with Rob Dolan Wines from the Yarra Valley – an area that Rob has made wines in since he made Yarra Ridge into a success in the early 1990s. More than 30 years later, and having been integral to the success of Sticks and Punt Road labels, Rob is still producing superb wines using Yarra Valley fruit.

I couldn’t think of a better venue to host this larger-than-life legend of the wine world than the expansive function rooms with the best views in the world. The Rob Donlan Long Lunch will feature six wines paired with five courses alongside no doubt, lots of commentary and tales from Rob’s impressive career. No need to hear it on the grapevine, this will be an up-close and personal affair full of beautiful wines, great conversation and delicious food – and did I mention the views?

We kick off with the Black Label Blanc de Blanc – think green apple, lemon, typical chardonnay flavours with yeasty elements derived from extended lees contact and mid-palate texture from a small portion of malolactic fermentation. Next, the White Label Pinot Gris – with apple and pear nuances, a slight staining from skin contact and bright acidity –  delivers a light–medium bodied wine ideally suited to the fig, goat cheese and balsamic accompaniment. Stepping it up, True Colours Rosé is pale salmon colour and sits firmly in the savoury style category with melon and nectarine flavours working as a delicate foil to the prawn and avocado ceviche.

Third course is the classic match of duck and pinot noir with the fruit-driven and savoury White Label Pinot Noir spiced with enough acidity to cut through the richness of duck rillettes. Next, Wagyu Striploin takes centre stage. The White Label Shiraz, being more medium-bodied rather than full-bodied, has red fruit flavours, spice and savoury edge, with the back palate combination of acid and tannin cleansing the palate between mouthfuls.

Fifth course completes the afternoon and the Yuzu tartlet sees citrus fruit and yuzu paired with the Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc. Left to shrivel on the vine (but without botrytis) the wine’s notes of orange blossom, marmalade and cumquat will be another perfect match! Whilst the lunch promises to be a wonderful event, remember that the Surf Club is accessible Monday to Sunday lunch through dinner and all points in between offering a fantastic selection of beverages at incredibly reasonable prices.

When was the last time you saw a wine by the glass at $7, drink in? There is a substantial number of wines by the glass below $10 including Rob Dolan’s Chardonnay or Paxton Shiraz from McLaren Vale at $9, as well as plenty of options from premium regions and producers. For those wanting to splash out, chardonnay and pinot noir from Ten Minutes by Tractor sit comfortably beside a Champagne selection, where the two offerings from Duval-Leroy look incredible value at $100 per bottle.

The club actively promotes local producers with Heads of Noosa Japanese Lager being very popular and Sunshine & Sons Gin and Vodka being first pour in the bar, as well as Noosa Gin from Noosa Distillery and Diablo Ginger Beer. Best of all, the more you support the club the safer the beach will be, as the Supporters Club provides financial support to the Volunteer Lifesavers, assisting with valuable equipment.

Perhaps we could make a case for our contributions across the bar being a tax-deductible donation? There are plenty of reasons to enjoy a drink and/or a bite to eat at Sunshine Beach Surf Club and the Rob Dolan Long Lunch is yet another.

Look forward to seeing you there. Cheers!



Black Label Blanc de Blanc

Fig, Goat’s Cheese and Balsamic
White Label Pinot Gris

Prawn & Avocado Ceviche
True Colours Rosé

Duck Rillettes
White Label Pinot Noir

Wagyu Striploin
White Label Shiraz

Yuzu Tartlet
Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc

Sunday 21 July, 11.30am

Visit the here to book, or book directly at Club reception and save $10.

About the Author /

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After 25 years of sniffing, swirling, spitting and slurping various vinous temptations our wine writer has decided that his future lies firmly planted on the consumption and storytelling side. Tony not only still enjoys consulting about wine and other beverages but is now part of the successful Kate Cox Real Estate Team at Reed & Co. Estate Agents.

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